Toyota Verso stands out in latest Euro NCAP results
This year has seen Euro NCAP change the way it marks cars across three areas of safety protection. Performance thresholds for Adult Occupant Protection and Child Occupant Protection have risen from 75% to 80% and from 70% to 75% respectively. However, it is in Pedestrian Protection where the difference is felt the keenest, with the minimum level required increased from 25% to 40%.
The Toyota Verso is the only car to receive a maximum five-star award in the latest batch of results, with good scores achieved in all areas and a worthy 69% in pedestrian protection.
Also tested was the latest model sold by Citroen, the Nemo Multispace, which is a direct derivative of the Nemo commercial van. Euro NCAP says that family wagon type vehicles that are based on commercial ranges can be particularly poorly fitted with regard to their safety features and equipment. The Nemo Multispace achieved an overall rating of three stars and a lacklustre 29% in Safety Assist as Electronic Stability Control and Speed Limitation Assistance are both not available as options. And a low score in Adult Occupant Protection is attributed to the lack of a standard curtain airbag and poor whiplash performance of the seats.
SEAT's Exeo achieved an overall rating of four stars. Euro NCAP noted that stiff structures in the dashboard presented an elevated risk of injury to knees and femurs, which the fitted knee airbag was unable to mitigate. However, the car did well in protection of pedestrians and the infants in the rear.
Meanwhile, the Nissan Cube, otherwise a solid performer, was let down by its child occupant protection during the frontal impact test with an overall four-star rating as the result.
The Kia Venga also achieved a four-star rating, although not without problems. During the frontal test the driver seat belt was partially cut by the lower seat rail, a serious flaw that potentially can undermine proper restraint of both frontal occupants. Kia swiftly introduced a solution and is currently taking market action to respond to Euro NCAP’s findings.
Commenting on the Venga's results, Dr Michiel van Ratingen, secretary general of Euro NCAP, said: 'Any reduction of the performance of the seat belt not only poses a serious risk to the driver and passenger, but also compromises the validity of the Euro NCAP rating awarded to the car. Customers must ensure that the modification is fitted, so that the four star rating applies.'